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missed train due to delay, can I use Thalys as next train

  • 8 November 2022
  • 7 replies
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Last year we got the NightJet from Innsbruck to Cologne to then get the ICE to Brussels (both prebooked and reserved)

We missed our connection by less than 10 minutes and got the next available ICE 2 hours later.

There would have been a Thalys an hour earlier. Could we have got this one as the next train at no extra cost? The staff at the Deutsche Bahn Info desk didn’t seem to think so but then he was Deutsche Bahn. This suggests I could have if I understand it right: https://faq.trainline.eu/article/449-miss-train#:~:text=You%20can%20speak%20to%20the,the%20delay%20is%20not%20significant.

I am asking because we are doing the same trip again this year and trying to decide if I book the later ICE or if I book the earlier one with the risk of ending up on the later one anyway or if we could end up on the Thalys with the earlier booking if delayed again.

Thoughts appreciated. The NightJet is with Interrail ticket this time but the ICE connection will be booked without IR. 

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Best answer by BrendanDB 8 November 2022, 14:06

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Userlevel 7
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Thalys has very limited (and very expensive) mandatory reservations for pass users. You could’ve tried, but the pass places would’ve probably sold out anyway. We always recommend to avoid Thalys with a pass, not worth the money.

You can get fairly easy to Brussels via reservation free local trains if you miss the ICE. Hop on a RE to Aachen, change there for the stopper service to Spa-Géronstère, switch again at Welkenraedt and the IC to Brussels (and Oostende) rolls in a bit later.

That takes about 3h from Cologne instead of +/- 2h with the ICE, but without the need to wait 2 hours 🙂.

It would look like this (on this year’s schedule) - next year’s might look a bit different. The connection is available every hour:

 

Userlevel 7
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But with the usual eternal delays on those RE in DE-it effectively usually boils down to reach BRU same time as the next ICE-except that very often a lot of these ICE also get cancelled very last minute.

(Having passed DUS and K a few times the last 2 weeks I can assure you that NONE of the RE1 and 8 to AC were ever on time-least delay was only 10 mins., still enough to miss that wrecked old NMBS trainset.

You could try asking the trainchef of Thls when the train stands in K_but expect a sniff and ´natürlich nicht´ (wir sind ya nur für die Kir-Royal klasse!)

Userlevel 7
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Hi, Brendan. Some users have tell (I can’t remember if here in the community or on Twitter), that you can buy a reservation for Interrail users also from the train staff of Thalys if seats are left (and I think they do not look if the quota full). But they ask to pay.

I can remember that it was the case from Brussel to Cologne. 

Thalys has very limited (and very expensive) mandatory reservations for pass users. You could’ve tried, but the pass places would’ve probably sold out anyway. We always recommend to avoid Thalys with a pass, not worth the money.

You can get fairly easy to Brussels via reservation free local trains if you miss the ICE. Hop on a RE to Aachen, change there for the stopper service to Spa-Géronstère, switch again at Welkenraedt and the IC to Brussels (and Oostende) rolls in a bit later.

That takes about 3h from Cologne instead of +/- 2h with the ICE, but without the need to wait 2 hours 🙂.

It would look like this (on this year’s schedule) - next year’s might look a bit different. The connection is available every hour:

 

Thank you. I am intending to travel without interail that day as it is cheaper as it stands. So getting to Cologne with NightJet on Interrail ticket and then a booked/seat reserved ICE to get to Brussel without Interrail. 

Userlevel 7
Badge +5

Hi, Brendan. Some users have tell (I can’t remember if here in the community or on Twitter), that you can buy a reservation for Interrail users also from the train staff of Thalys if seats are left (and I think they do not look if the quota full). But they ask to pay.

I can remember that it was the case from Brussel to Cologne. 

Ah, that’s good to know. But it still costs €25 pp for a relatively short single trip with Thalys… Still not worth it in my opinion

Userlevel 7
Badge +10

It seems from the posts that there is nothing stopping you boarding the Thalys, but if pass seats are available you will have to pay the reservation fee, which is quite expensive.

The advice if your train is late is to see the operator’s staff and they have to sort out a reasonable alternative at no cost to you.

Whilst I believe if the only alternative is with another operator they will then arrange that or overnight accommodation (or taxi) where there is a reasonable no cost option you would be expected to take that.

It seems reasonable (to them) to wait for the next ICE at no res fee in under 2 hours . Since you have a pass you obviously have the option hop onto either the res free regional trains or the Thalys, but not at the arriving operator’s expense. If you had a future connection (say E*) in Brussels at risk then they may put you on the Thalys or arrange a change of E* - a regular event.

There was an example recently of a pass holder who took a taxi with 3 other passengers at their own initiative after their train was stopped/cancelled without waiting for the operator to arrange an alternative solution (which may well have been a taxi at their expense). They had considerable difficulty substantiating a claim for reimbursement.

Userlevel 7
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But with the usual eternal delays on those RE in DE-it effectively usually boils down to reach BRU same time as the next ICE-except that very often a lot of these ICE also get cancelled very last minute.

"usually” = sometimes. I think I've used these trains enough to be able to say that this mostly works.

(Having passed DUS and K a few times the last 2 weeks I can assure you that NONE of the RE1 and 8 to AC were ever on time-least delay was only 10 mins., still enough to miss that wrecked old NMBS trainset.

The RE above is RE9.

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